Hayden Canyon: 'Built on miracles'
Hayden Canyon Charter School board member Joshua Dahlstrom mans the barbecue during the school's opening celebration Friday night. The newly constructed school will welcome its first year of students Sept. 21.
Amy Thompson, board chair for Hayden Canyon Charter, guides families through the hallway as they check out classrooms in the new school Friday evening.
Hayden Canyon Charter board member Joshua Dahlstrom, with the mic, reacts Friday evening as a little boy yells "Yay!" in response to the good news that the school will open Sept. 21.
The crowd goes wild as Tyson Schroeder, vice chair of the Hayden Canyon Charter School board, cuts the ceremonial red ribbon to officially open the school Friday evening. Hayden Charter will welcome its first year of students on Sept. 21.
Staff Writer | September 15, 2020 1:00 AM
HAYDEN — The vibe was nothing less than electric Friday night when teachers, staff members and families gathered at Hayden Canyon Charter School for a celebration that has been a long time coming.
Board member Joshua Dahlstrom addressed the crowd before the ribbon-cutting ceremony. He said Hayden Canyon has taken a lot of years and a lot of work by many for it to finally become a reality.
"This was envisioned 16 years ago, and over the years, many, many people have been involved in trying to get this to happen," he said. "We’ve come close. A few times. Some of you might have even got in last year, but then we didn't open. The year before, when we didn’t open. There’s been a few of those. Could you imagine if we had opened last year, the struggles we would have endured?"
To open right now, he said, is a blessing.
"We’re able to see how everybody had to react to the COVID situation," Dahlstrom said. "We were able to learn from that, and as a board, make very good decisions on how we could open this school safely and provide an amazing expeditionary learning experience for these wonderful kids.
"Hayden Canyon Charter School was built on a dream," he continued. "As we all worked to make it a reality, we struggled and we fought and we built every step of the way, more and more faith that we could make this school into what it is today. Every day, we have woke up thankful that we have another day to push this school forward, for every one of you.”
"Yay!" a young boy cried out, as many laughed and cheered.
"This will truly be a school built on miracles,” Dahlstrom said.
And with that, a large red ribbon in front of the 30,000-square-foot building was split with an ax wielded by Tyson Schroeder, vice chair of the school's board. The crowd went wild as he gave the ribbon a few whacks and officially opened the school.
"I’m feeling great,” he said. “To get to this point, Josh said it all. He almost put me in tears.”
Families mingled, enjoyed a barbecue and toured the bottom floor of the school. Mom Julie Crosby of Hayden and daughter Brielle, who formerly attended Northwest Expedition Academy, are looking forward to the school year.
“I’m super excited,” said Brielle, an incoming sixth-grader. "I’m excited about all the hikes and all the outdoor stuff.”
“I’m most excited about exploratory learning,” Julie said. “She went to NExA last year and it was a really good fit for her, so we’re really excited to keep that going, especially into middle school."
Hayden Canyon will welcome 304 kindergarten through eighth-grade students on Sept. 21. This public charter selects students through an annual lottery process and then students are placed on waiting lists until slots become available. Presently close to 300 students are on wait lists for first through eighth grades.
Hayden Canyon students are required to follow an "expeditionary gear" dress code, including appropriate tops with the school logo paired with hiking pants, shorts or skirts.